It seems as though James Bond franchise could be bought by Netflix or Apple, which means No Time To Die could come to streaming.
After a particularly slow week in Hollywood (in comparison to recent weeks), the heavy rumour broken by respected critic and screenwriter Drew McWeeny was that the James Bond franchise was in the midst of a bidding war.
The numbers heard were ‘insane’.
No Time To Die has already been delayed twice, and now situated to be released in spring 2022.
However, the situation is not as simple as it makes out once this news gathered steam across the internet as if a done deal has been made.
The Bond franchise and indeed this particular release has many people with a slice of the pie.
MGM and EON (the company behind all 25 films) deal with the production of the film, MGM retains the rights for theatrical, digital and TV in the United States.
United Artists aid the theatrical distribution as well in the US, and Universal Pictures handles the international & home video distribution rollout.
If that’s not enough we also have multimillion-pound marketing deals that have specific contracts for product placement also needing the right exposure and audiences.
The name’s Bond, James Bond, and it could be coming to streaming
But just how likely is this, 10 months on, during the pandemic?
McWeeny posted on his blog, that he’d been hearing from multiple sources that Bond was being courted by Apple TV and Netflix. But he also notes why this is hugely problematic to happen.
All post-theatrical streaming rights and theatrical distribution contacts have most likely been agreed months in advance if not years.
A rumoured $600m offer from Apple for a one-year exclusivity is a mighty big figure to consider when Spectre took just shy of $900m globally.
But the arguable point is that Bond could be projected to reach $1b plus in normal times, not to mention the huge draw to Universal of the 80% of box office that stems from the usual worldwide release.
Bloomberg most recently reports, that the distributors are committed to a theatrical release, and for a movie that was deemed the saviour in particular to UK cinemas, this will be welcome news.
However, as we’ve everything we’ve seen so far this year, we must add caution and never say never.
Hopefully, it continues on the path to a cinema release, where arguably Bond deserves to be.